Ahead of the game’s release this April in Japan, Xenoblade Chronicles X executive director Tetsuya Takahashi shared a few scant details on the game in an interview with Famitsu magazine. Retail blog Sinobi has summarized some of the more important information, and you can find our translation below.
While creating your avatar, you’ll be able to customize the following: gender, face-type, skin color, hairstyle, eyes, makeup, and voice. The base designs for the avatars are done by Kunihiko Tanaka, who designed characters for the game. (Tanaka also worked on Xenogears, and Xenosaga Episode I.)
Additionally, the voice options for the avatar will be provided by famous voice actors, which will be revealed on the official website in the near future.
Comparisons to Xenoblade Chronicles:
In Xenoblade Chronicles X, you’ll use the GamePad as an information terminal. While exploring Planet Mira, data accumulates on the GamePad, and you’ll freely get to access it afterwards. Some of the information that will be available the GamePad screen are details on the player’s position and quest destination.
There will also be a warp function installed on the GamePad, that allows you to warp to areas you’ve previously been to. This is important because Mira is about five times larger than the world in Xenoblade Chronicles. You’ll get to travel across the immense land in a seamless fashion as well. The faraway areas can be reached via the Dolls (mechs) which are capable of flight, or with support from the Wii U GamePad.
Takahashi says that, while Xenoblade Chronicles was a traditional RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles X is made to be an open-world RPG, where you accept quests in different areas and have many aspects that expand the story.
Moving along, here’s some more information Takahashi revealed to Famitsu:
- Takahashi reiterated that while Xenoblade Chronicles X is a game from the same lineage as Xenoblade Chronicles, it is not a sequel to that game—hence the “X” after the title, instead of a “2”.
- The meaning behind the “X” (cross) also has to do with connecting with players far away (“across”). However, Takahashi describes Xenoblade Chronicles X as more of a “loosely connected” online game, rather than a regular online game. It’s unclear as to just what this means at the moment, but it could mean that the online features will be more asynchronous or passive.
- Monolith Soft only prepared one track with vocals for Xenoblade Chronicles, but they’ve prepared a number of these for Xenoblade Chronicles X, enough to be considered quite a lot by RPG standards.
- There are around 90 tracks in the game, and composer Hiroyuki Sawano was involved with all of them.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X’s battle system has the basic foundations of the one from Xenoblade Chronicles, but with an increased sense of speed. It has evolved into something that has a much more action-y feel to it. Characters can use short or long-ranged attacks, and there are no healer-type roles. The healing is done through a new system called “Soul Voice”. (This was demonstrated at E3)
- Parties consist of four members. The player will control his or her character, while the other three are controlled by AI.
- The number of unique monsters in the game and the equipment that you can acquire have been greatly increased. When Takahashi playtested the game recently for a final check, he clocked in at over 300 hours.
Xenoblade Chronicles X is slated for release in Japan on April 29, 2015 for Wii U, and will launch in North America and Europe later this year. Judging by this interview, Nintendo aren’t ready to reveal everything about the game just yet, so stay tuned for more info in the weeks to come.